Gabriel enjoys eating with family and friends especially to celebrate special occasions, of which there are many.
The Friendly Guys
The Zero Approach!
There is a God and you can eat food that won't make you fat. Zero calorie foods take more energy to digest and adsorb into the system than the actual energy in the food itself. What does this mean? Some foods have less calories than the calories your body uses to process it.
The revelation: you can eat these foods as part of your daily diet and not count their calories. Use a little imagination and these foods can and will rock your boat. So here's a few to get you started.
- beet root
- green beans
Fruits And Vegetables
- Fruits make great snacks. Top your breakfast cereal with raspberries and sliced apple to add bulk and flavor.
- Fruits make fabulous desserts. A scoop of ice sorbet and you're in the mode. Grill pineapple slices or stew some apples to accompany your sorbet.
- Fresh orange or grapefruit juice are anytime cool drinks or really put the squeeze on and make fresh lemonade.
- Strawberries and cranberries make great smoothies. Chop them up and add to a yogurt for a quick fix.
- There is so much to do with fruit, especially the ones mentioned. If time is stretched a plum or apricot are easy to eat on the run.
- A special occasion doesn't have to cost you pounds (in weight). Pavlova is a pretty low fat delicious dessert. Cream filled, topped with strawberries (or your choice from the list). A whopping 3 1/2 oz serving is less than a cheeseburger at only 300 calories. There is more calories in two slices of toast, bet your canceling the bread order as I type.
- Steamed, stir fry, simmered or lightly roasted vegetables are an important part of our daily consumption. Cooking our vegetables with a little extra care, (not overcooking) we maintain a fuller flavor. Bulking our food intake without compromising the taste. Of course there's the added bonus of eating more without the calories which aids our metabolism.
- Throw a slice of orange in the pot when you cook your carrots or add a splash of orange juice.
- Add basil and oregano to your tomato soup.
- Try a little crushed garlic and sliced ginger with your stir fry.
- Use fresh herbs to enhance flavor, chillies, chives and cress really liven up a salad.
- Season your vegetables: carrots & coriander; peas & mint; peppers & thyme.
Add Herbs And Spices
Variety Speaks Volumes
Perhaps you're reading this thinking: big deal, I hate all that stuff anyway! Do you want to fit into your skinny jeans? Then be patient. We eat with our eyes and smell too plays an amazing part in what we eat. If you were looking at a double cheese burger that smelled of rotten fish, I doubt you'd want to eat it. Back to the grind stone.
How often do you tuck into a bowl of soup? Most of the above vegetables are crying out to be part of something big! Carrot and orange, spinach and leek, tomato and basil, onion and cauliflower. Fresh veg, stock, a few tasty herbs and you've got a low fat snack, lunch or starter.
Select your favorite fruits or vegetables. Add a little milk, ice and blitz. The result is a tasty liquid breakfast or a great snack. If you're going to blame Mr Time do it the night before, sorted.
- Bulk Up:
Bulk your main meals by adding more vegetables. Add carrots, kale, swede, onions, leeks, peppers, celery, fennel or any from the list to soups, stews and casseroles: Love your mashed potatoes, add a little carrot, kale or swede to your mash without adding calories. The result is a little similar to the Irish dish, colcannon.
- Stir Fry:
Stir fry your veg (choose from the list) in a little olive oil. Sprinkle over grated nutmeg and a few fresh herbs. You'll have a winner. Fresh herbs have very little calories yet are full of flavor and bring a little pzazz to your veggies. Dried herbs also work well, opt for chinese 5 spice to tickle your taste buds.
- Add flavour:
Enjoy natural low fat condiments and cupboard favorites in your dishes. Black pepper, mustard, salsa, tomato puree, hummus, horseradish and ginger to mention but a few. Marinade meats and fish with lemon or orange juice with complimentary herbs or spices and your food will taste great.
Don't leave low calorie condiments on the shelf. Give mayo and butter a holiday and add a little salsa to your cheese or shrimp sandwiches. Ham loves mustard and beef is a marriage with horseradish. Don't forget to add onion, tomato and cress.
Make your own sauces to compliment a dish. Tomato and oregano will be very happy alongside grilled chicken or fish. Place a mix of peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes in a roasting dish, sprinkle with fresh herbs and olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are just cooked. Quick and easy.
White onion sauce will love pork. Vegetables will be happy in a provencal. And prawns will taste great in a sweet chili sauce. Use orange or lemon juice and zest to add a quick zing if time is of the essence.
Left over whole vegetables are great in an omelette or a frittata. Mashed or puree make a quick soup or blitz with a little olive oil and garlic and you'll have a great sauce for any white meat or pasta.
No More Boring Salads Please
No Limp Salad Please
Salads don't have to be limp and tasteless. Check out the options below.
- A dish of crisp lettuce, thinly sliced onion, fresh tomatoes, diced cucumber, sliced beet root, fresh crunchy beans, grated carrot and a little sprinkle of chili flakes with a drizzle of olive oil and white wine vinegar is superb. Add a grilled chicken breast, shaved parmesan, or fresh cooked shrimp and dinner is served.
- A mix of watermelon and strawberries with a little fresh mint and a spoon of greek yogurt is a tasty treat to accompany any white fish dish or serve as a starter.
- Washed baby spinach or water cress with a pinch of nutmeg are an excellent replacement for lettuce leaves.
- A fresh salsa of diced tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and a squeeze of lime is a wonderful fresh combination.
- Roasted cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil and balsamic mixed through some rocket or spinach leaves with thinly sliced red onion makes a great side dish.
The Goodness In Fruit And Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are a necessary food in our every day lives. They fight against all kinds of diseases from heart attacks to cancer; improving eyesight; bringing a shine to our hair; giving strength to our nails and teeth not to mention boosting our energy. Just a few important jobs our friendly friends are happy to do for us. We don't have to live off fruit and vegetables, but they are a natural low fat food served as they come or lightly cooked. Added to our daily meals they provide much needed vitamins and minerals. There is nothing wrong with adding a little dressing to your salad or a little greek yogurt to a fruit bowl or indeed a small scoop of ice cream (100 cals).
Enjoy your meat and fish dishes, but always serve with salad or vegetables (ok we all need chips now and then or life could get tricky). Broadening your knowledge about spices, herbs and condiments to compliment foods will result in tastier healthier dishes. Making your own soups and sauces will become a doddle. Portions can be frozen for easy supper dishes.
Our lives are very busy these days and it's true we often have no time to prepare fresh meals. However, I guarantee you, your future is worth investing in. Your health and your families health are worth investing in. The most difficult things we do, are somethings new and different. When we know what we're doing, well it's a piece of cake! (or should I say a piece of pavlova).
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2010 Gabriel Wilson
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on March 30, 2019:
Ironmama you should read before you comment: go back and read the article because I am not explaining it too you when the article does that. Of course everything has calories and fruits contain natural sugar. Zero calorie foods are not bull and it's not a case of believing it's a case of science. Your body uses calories doing everything including eating and digesting and expelling. Read the article and perhaps you might learn something. And just for the record Ironmama you sound angry, go do some yoga or take a long walk burn of some energy.
Ironmama on March 29, 2019:
This is bull. Everything you eat has calories. First thing on the list. Apples. Contains sugar. Makes you fat. All fruit has sugar. Don’t believe this garbage.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 04, 2014:
Tanx for reading and for your comment. I recently made a chilled cucumber soup with natural yogurt, homemade vegetable stock, garlic, toasted cumin seeds and seasoning. It was really good. My sister loved it. Perhaps you'll share some of your creations :) I can look forward to reading them and making them too :)
Erin Nichols from Montana on April 03, 2014:
Awesome hub! I was already aware of the zero calorie foods, but I tend to eat a lot of raw veggies and fruits instead of thinking of ways to combine them. I absolutely love soup and now, because of your hub, I will be challenging myself to make more clean and fresh soup. And stir fry, mmm, makes me drool just thinking about it. Voted up!
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on January 17, 2014:
Hi kitkat1141, don't forget you can use these foods in lots of different ways: in soups; stews; salads: sandwiches even desserts. Go steady :)
kitkat1141 from Ontario, Canada on January 16, 2014:
Great article to read to start the new year! Thanks
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on September 13, 2013:
Not all fruits and vegetables are a source of energy, they are a source of much needed vitamins and minerals and indeed very necessary in our diets. Oranges for example are a great source of vitamin C, where bananas are a great source of energy, hence not a zero calorie food. Potatoes are also a great energy source, but again they are not zero calorie. Using zero calorie vegetables and fruits can add bulk to other vegetables and fruit that provide the calories. Very often we eat even when we are not hungry, the desire to snack can be quite difficult to break, snacking on the foods listed or adding them to your meals will help combat eating too much but still provide the satisfaction of eating a decent size meal and one with lots of flavor.
Examples: replace veg sticks with a dip instead of crisps; bulk up a soup, stew or stry fry by adding zero calorie veggies; add zero calorie veg to noodles or pasta.
Hope this helps :)
Michelle B from USA on September 10, 2013:
Interesting...what confuses me though is that if fruits and vegetables are supposed to be a natural source of energy, shouldn't they have calories that would stick and have to be used up instead of just being digested away? It's like you're eating for energy, but you're not really getting any energy at all.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on January 20, 2012:
I would imagine most diabetics once diagnosed have experts at their disposal to put them on the right track. Indeed, my sister is diabetic and was given numerous lists of foods to avoid and eat in moderation.
Of course I agree with you that the negative calorie food part of any diet only works if done right, but surely anything is only successful if done right! Isn't that the whole point?
I believe the way you eat is for life not for a faddy week or month; a fruit smoothie is better for you and has less sugar than say a chocolate milkshake. It's all about perspective; eat healthy and allow yourself treats now and then.
You burn calories every time you eat or drink anything. That is a scientific fact; even more so if the food or drink is cold. You burn calories drinking iced water; fact.
Lastly, to lose weight permanently takes effort and time. But most importantly is the realization, that healthy eating doesn't stop after you lose weight. No! Healthy eating is the way you should eat forever.
Thank for stopping by and for your comment. Best of luck :)
Saiya from Colorado on January 19, 2012:
Great infotmation, however I feel the need to throw a 'but' in to the mix. Negative calorie foods are great, but, a lot of the fruits are so high in natural sugar that they are not avaiable to diabetics. Further more the negative calorie part of any diet is only effective if done right. You had many great recipes I can wait to try but i know that there are people who will think that they dont need to count the calories in a fruit smoothie. I have met some of these people that fail to understand that negative calorie foods need to be chewed and properly digested in order to count. Say for instance some brought home fat free ice cream. they pile it with strawberries and rasberrys and dig in. for one that's a lot of sugar, second when you take a spoon and shove the food into your mouth and swallow, you not maximizing your energy output. In the event that you body used the same amount of energy to digest the food, you didn't burn any thing, which if your trying to lose weight defeats the purpose. Other than that please every one enjoy these wonderful miracle foods.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on September 28, 2011:
That's a great idea MPG Narratives. Tanx for stopping by :)
Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on September 28, 2011:
I eat just about everything on the list, especially apples. I eat one every day and it keeps my arthritis at bay. Thanks for a great list Gabriel and I think people should print this out and keep it in the kitchen to remind them what good food is.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on July 11, 2011:
Hi vocalcoach glad to met you. Seeing as you like basil/garlic and tomato sauce; check out my recipe for homemade tomato and basil pesto soup with crispy croutons :)
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on July 10, 2011:
Do I ever love this hub! I am a vegetarian so no problem there. Because I love basil/garlic tomato sauce, after steaming a plate full of veggies, I drip about a cup or less tomato sause over the top with a few sprinkles of fresh grated parmesian. Delicious! Your suggestions are terrific. Glad I popped in :)
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on June 11, 2011:
Tanx for popping in Guyana Masala :)
Guyana Masala from New Jersey on June 10, 2011:
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on June 10, 2011:
Tanx for reading. I'm glad you found it useful. It can be difficult at times to eat well and eat healthy. Sometimes a few easy tips can help.
EnjoyYourLife from New York on June 09, 2011:
Thank you so much for such an insightful and well thought out hub with extremely useful tips!
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on May 24, 2011:
Tanx for reading.
AlmostLola on April 01, 2011:
Interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing.
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on November 21, 2010:
Eat the ones that you do like. Try making vegetable soup, it's a great way of getting your five a day and you'll still get goodness.
gigglyemma on November 20, 2010:
It's a great thing to eat healty. I don't like some of the veggies though...... XD
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 29, 2010:
Although,diabetesreporter_ I think you should read all the hub before you comment!
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 28, 2010:
Your two cents is very welcome, I have been in the food industry for many years, and actually worked with numerous special diet requirements, the above information is through numerous studies and more simply it's a math equation. What goes in is less than what comes out, however there are numerous books and sites to explore, at your local library or just google it. This blog is no way suggesting people eat only the above, it is simply providing a list that you can use to bulk up your meals without adding calories. I did mention desserts and chips after all. If you were to survive only on the list above, the term for your habit would be anorexia, and that my friend is fatal. You would be a very desperate person to want to eat only fruit and vegetables,not just your weight would suffer, your personality,energy and worst of all your health. I hope anyone reading this blog sees it as it's meant, you can add to every day meals without pushing the calorie scale up. Having experienced both sides of the weight coin through people I care about, this blog is to encourage people to eat their diet for life and not a for fad. The most difficult thing to do is break a habit, once you do, it gets easier.I'm glad you stopped by,perhaps others thought the same thing. Tanx.
diabetesreporter from Eureka, California on April 28, 2010:
Just curious as to where you found the above list? This seems to be a rather controversial subject at present. Why? Let's say that you lived on a diet that consisted solely of the foods on your list. There are quite a few, so it would not be impossible to accomplish. Using the logic that all of these foods take more energy to digest than they offer in calories, you should have a negative amount of net calories each day. This would actually be FATAL if left to go on long enough. I have a very difficult time believing that this would happen. One might not gain much weight on a diet such as this, but I seriously doubt that it would starve you by not providing you with ANY calories. Just my two cents.
Amelia Griggs from U.S. on April 27, 2010:
Wonderful hub! What a helpful hub to spread the word about fruits and vegetables! :-)
Gabriel Wilson (author) from Madeira, Portugal on April 23, 2010:
Hi Tina, I will do that, tanx
Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on April 23, 2010:
Cool! I am the first one to comment. Well written, great tips. I will rate up and join fan club. I would like to invite you to stop by my hubs. We do have some in common
Nice to meet you.